November 11, 2006
Bill Plaschke's story in last Sunday's Times ["Floored"] about the anonymous tycoon donating $5 million to USC so he could immortalize his dear friend, a regular decent guy, was very touching. I kept rereading the article, hoping to glean a specific reason for such an over-the-top donation. Then it hit me. From their relationship, the tycoon got a real down-to-earth friend who enabled the tycoon to keep both of his feet on the ground. The very decent Jim Sterkel achieved lasting fame.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2001
John Balzar belittles my desire to keep my personal affairs private and ridicules the idea of encrypting electronic data ("Let's Hear It for Busybodies," Commentary, Nov. 25). This cannot escape unchallenged. Nothing sinister should be inferred when I want to keep my e-mail or computer files private. These are indeed my private thoughts, and I want to choose carefully with whom I share them. We all have secrets that we do not want to share with our neighbors, police, employers, telemarketers or other strangers.
February 28, 1986 |
Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) told delegates to the National Governors Assn. Sunday that it was a shame they couldn't be home watching television, for they were missing fascinating coverage of the Philippine rebellion. Indeed, in recent days Americans have seen a rare video docudrama, a revolution. Since last November, both sides in the Philippines have played out their conflict on the evening news in the United States, on morning talk shows and on late-night programs.
March 13, 2003
"Snowmobilers Riding High in Yellowstone" (March 9) fails to mention the heavy lobbying by the snowmobile industry, which donated large sums of money to the Republicans. Rep. Joseph Hoeffel (D-Pa.) laments that "it's going to take public outrage" to reverse the Bush administration's lifting of the ban on snowmobiles in the park. Apparently, the fact that public opinion runs 4 to 1 against snowmobiles isn't enough outrage for President Bush. Nor is the opposition of the Environmental Protection Agency (under the hamstrung "leadership" of Christie Whitman)
March 8, 2010 |
The designers of the Constitution were a literate bunch of Enlightenment thinkers. They lived in the time of the printed word and the close argument. We, on the other hand, live in the age of YouTube, talk radio, reality TV, cable news and the 30-second attack ad. A constant barrage of public opinion polls -- Gallup, Zogby, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, New York Times/CBS News -- tells us what we think. Well, maybe. On big issues -- what should California do to balance its books and avoid insolvency, for example -- it is important that the public weigh in. But if public knowledge is only skin deep, asking Californians what they want to do is similar to asking your 8-year-old to help drive the winding mountain road to Yosemite National Park.